I figure since I am an ad designer by profession, that maybe I should post some of those samples, especially since all these samples have actually been printed. In the year that I've worked here, I'd say I've done over 200 ads (which is a lot, by the way ;-). I've done ads for companies from California, Florida, New York, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Kansas and then some! We've printed over 30 magazines in 10 + different states! What a way to get your name out there (yes, my name is listed in all magazines...tee hee hee).
I like designing ads because it's quicker and I get to change things up and not being stuck on one project for long periods of time. With ads, I am constantly getting new projects to do, work on and then finish. The only bad thing about ad design is quantity. In some areas, I do 60%+ of the ads. This doesn't leave a lot of time for each ad. I was going through all our past magazines and found way too many ads that I never want anyone to see. So it is when companies send me nothing to work with (or I have no time...)
The other bad thing is when magazines overlap and I have ads in 3 or more magazines to complete. This gets rather stressful at times...and the days quickly turn into 10 hour days as opposed to 8.
So here are a few ad samples I've completed as well as a few magazine covers (ones where I designed the entire magazine) that I've also done.